any one with bad experience on cortisol???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jfrustrated, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. jfrustrated

    jfrustrated New Member

    I have read about the potential negative side effects of cortisol/hydrocortisone etc. for the treatment of low adrenal function. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has tried cortisol etc. for adrenal fatigue or cfs who has had bad side effects or reaction. Thanks for any replies.

  2. lbconstable

    lbconstable New Member


    I've been taking Cortisol supplementation on & off for 2 years now. I haven't had any bad reactions. I take Cortef. Right now I only take it when I feel I'm having a particularly demanding or stressful day. I'm only taking 5mg at a time - which is the equivalent of 1 mg of prednisone.

    Usually when treating low adrenal function the dosages are so low that no side effects are expected.

    In my case, it has really helped while I have addressed other issues. Overall I have regained 85% of my energy and capacity to function. The cortisol was only a very small part of my treatment regimen, but sure helped while I was pulling it all together.

    love & light, Laurie
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    the important point is also (from what I remember at least) is to start with the tiniest amount possible and slowly work up to the highest recommended physiologic dosage.

    It did help me to generally eliminate afternoon naps, went off it for quite a while and was able to sustain that until recently, but the need is slowly coming back... I may try it again.

    hope this helps!

    OH -- also wanted to add, when I was looking into it, I talked personally with the doctor who pioneered its use in physiological doses (dang, can't think of his name right now, but he wrote a book about it too);

    he'd been head of endocrinology dept at I think Emory Medical school, gave it to pts since the 1950s, and had used it himself since he was about 52; when I spoke to him he was 85!!!! and doing well...

    -- and in retirement... I hadn't known his age or that he'd retired, and had just gone ahead & gotten his phone # from directory assistance! But he was a really nice person and very helpful and supportive.[This Message was Edited on 01/01/2006]
  4. sdown

    sdown New Member

    Hi, Im on 25 mg of cortef a day and 25 mg of DHEA a day. The only negative thing I can think of is I am more prone to infections. So if anyone has any suggestions regarding what to do or what to take Im all ears. It does indicate the precaution on the warnings for this drug that you are more prone to infections. If it werent for infections I would be laughing on cortef because it has made me come a long way with my energy. But when I get an infection Im really down and out.
  5. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    i took 5 mg of bio-identical cortisol for a few months. the first couple days it made me a little tense which is natural since cortisol is the "stress hormone" but after that i had no problems at all. i tried to go up to 10 mg at one point, but i found that it was too hard to wind down in the evening.

  6. darude

    darude New Member

    Soon so will ask him about this. I have pituitary tumour and perhaps this will help.
  7. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    An interesting effect I have had is that my blood pressure is now normal. I have had low BP all my life. Usually 90/60 or in that range. Since I have been taking Cortef (20 mg/day), my BP is in the 110/70 range. Of course, it could also be due to the T3 or pregnenolone I am taking. It's hard to tell which thing I'm doing that has been affecting my BP. It's all so interconnected.

    Good thread. Thanks for posting.

    I found this on the Merck website regarding corticosteroids:

    Corticosteroids: Uses and Side Effects

    Corticosteroids are the strongest drugs available for reducing inflammation in the body. They are useful in any condition in which inflammation occurs, including rheumatoid arthritis and other connective tissue disorders, multiple sclerosis, and in emergencies such as brain swelling, asthma attacks, and severe allergic reactions. They are important in the treatment of severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They may even be applied directly to the affected area for certain skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. When inflammation is severe, use of these drugs is often life-saving.

    Corticosteroids are prepared synthetically to have the same action as cortisol.

    Some Trade Names:
    HYDROCORTONE, a steroid hormone produced by the outer layer (cortex) of the adrenal glands—hence the name “corticosteroid.” Many synthetic corticosteroids are, however, more powerful than cortisol.

    Because corticosteroids reduce the body's ability to fight infections by suppressing inflammation, they are used with extreme care when infections are present. Their use may worsen high blood pressure, heart failure, diabetes, peptic ulcer, kidney failure, and osteoporosis and are used in such conditions only when necessary.

    When they are taken by mouth or by injection, corticosteroids should not be discontinued abruptly. This is because corticosteroids inhibit production of cortisol by the adrenal glands, and this production must be given time to recover. Thus, at the end of a course of corticosteroids, the dose is gradually reduced. It is important for a person who takes corticosteroids to follow the doctor's instructions on dosage very carefully.

    The long-term use of corticosteroids, particularly at higher doses and particularly when given intravenously or by mouth, invariably leads to many side effects, involving almost every organ in the body. Common side effects include thinning of the skin with stretch marks and bruising, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, cataracts, puffiness in the face (moon face) and abdomen, and thinning of the arms and legs, poor wound healing, stunted growth in children, loss of calcium from the bones (which can lead to osteoporosis), stomach bleeding, hunger, weight gain, and mental problems. Because most of their effects are produced locally, inhaled corticosteroids and those that are applied directly to the skin cause far fewer symptoms than the intravenous version or that given by mouth.

  8. alaska3355

    alaska3355 New Member

    Great article! Keep up the good work.... Terri
  9. alaska3355

    alaska3355 New Member

    Great article! Keep up the good work.... Terri
  10. laura81655

    laura81655 New Member

    I am currently on 10mg. I get from the Compounding Pharmacy. I am taking it for my very painful feet. Nothing else has helped the inflammation as well as this, not even Elavil or Neurontin.
    Downside is that I have gained a few pounds on it and I also had to wean myself gradually to
    My sed rate was low for inlammation so I'm not sure why it is helping my pain.
    Hope it helps you.

  11. katykat24

    katykat24 New Member

    if you have seen that commercial, but there is one touting that cortisol is linked to weight gain? is there any medical fact to this?
  12. jfrustrated

    jfrustrated New Member

    I have read that high levels of cortisol cause weight gain: there is a book I read on cortisol levels and how it adds to weight giving a 'swallowed a beachball ' figure: but that does not seem to apply to low levels. Mine were high while I was still working, but now they have crashed. Kept the weight gain though. I think the book was called something like "how cortisol makes you fat."
  13. sdown

    sdown New Member

    Yes your right cortef makes you gain weight. I went up to 160 lbs and my normal weight is around 135-140. I lost the weight due to a long battle with infections. I really have a strict diet. I cut out sugar, bread and dairy products. I have oatmeal with raisins and apples in the morning or soup. Lunch maybe a salad and soup. Dinner is usually fish, ham, steak with lots of raw veggies throughout the day. Also the doc put me on a supplement called One Step out of the states. Its expensive so I cant afford to always be on it. It definitely helped with controlling my appetite.